New patients are often surprised to find out they can request a copy of the lab report that accompanies their medical cannabis products. The lab report provides a comprehensive breakdown of the different chemicals and compounds in your medical marijuana, so you know exactly what you are consuming.
Why are lab reports important?
Along with providing detailed information about the things you want in your medical marijuana, including beneficial cannabinoids like THC and CBD, lab reports also reveal important data about the things you don’t want. These include harmful bacteria, mold, yeast and other contaminants, which will not be present in high-quality cannabis.
Remember that Arizona still has no law that requires testing for the quality, purity and potency of medical marijuana, so patients must rely on dispensaries for more information. Never hesitate to request a copy of your lab report to make sure the product you are getting is safe and effective.
What can you expect to see on a cannabis lab report?
Reports may vary based on which laboratory your dispensary uses, but generally you should see three sections:
Cannabinoid Profile: This section will tell you about the potency of your medical marijuana product. To refresh your memory, cannabinoids are chemical compounds secreted by the cannabis plant that produce the majority of its medicinal effects as well as the euphoric “high” people experience.
Your lab report should list the percentage of total cannabinoids, the percentage of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the percentage of CBD (cannabidiol), and the concentration of other key cannabinoids in the product.
Terpene Profile: Terpenes are behind the intense and varied aromas you get with different marijuana strains, and these compounds may also contribute to some of the beneficial effects of medical cannabis. You should see a breakdown here of the total terpene composition, as well as an overview of the primary aromas (e.g., cinnamon, orange, pine, lavender).
Microbials/Pesticides: Plant samples or edibles should be tested for evidence of fungal (mold) or bacterial infestation. You may see the abbreviation CFU (colony forming unit) to identify and quantify pathogens such as E. coli, other coliform bacteria, yeast and mold. In addition, many labs now offer pesticide screening to test for some of the most commonly used pesticides.
What else might you find on a lab report?
In the case of medical marijuana concentrates, you may see a section for Residual Solvents. With concentrates, there is less of a concern about bacteria, yeast and mold because the extraction process by which they’re made strips away most of the cannabis plant material. However, some contaminants and residual solvents (e.g., butane, methanol or acetone) may still be present and can negatively affect the taste and aroma of the medical marijuana product.
Because of this, even states that do require testing are taking steps to modify their “acceptable levels per gram”. In Colorado, for example, where the acceptable level used to be <5,000 PPM (parts per million) for butanes and heptanes, new rules effective January 1, 2018 (with mandatory compliance by February 1, 2018) lowered the acceptable level to <1,000 PPM.
What do all those abbreviations mean?
In some of the columns you will see the abbreviations ND, NR and NT. ND stands for “none detected” or “not detected.” Similarly, NR stands for “none reported” or “not reported.” NT may mean either “not tested” or “not reported” depending on the individual laboratory.
LOQ, or Limit of Quantitation, simply describes the smallest sample amount that can be reliably measured by an analytical procedure.
Can patients really ask to see their medical marijuana lab report?
Absolutely. Like any other form of medication, you have a right to know exactly what goes into your medical marijuana to ensure you get the most benefit and have an enjoyable experience using it.
Here at Desert Rose Dispensary, we believe in transparency. If you have any questions about the potency, purity or safety of our cannabis products, just ask us to go over the details with you. We strive to provide the best possible marijuana product knowledge to ensure you are 100% satisfied with your purchase, and we look forward to helping you take the first step toward feeling better.
Stop by the dispensary today or call 623-516-7881 and talk with a member of our knowledgeable and compassionate staff.